It wasn’t long ago that the dadbod, a term commonly used to refer to a man who is slightly out of shape, was considered the hottest physique. Think Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Segel, and Vince Van—all very attractive, IMO, but clearly not obsessed with hitting the gym morning and night. A survey, which was released by Planet Fitness in June, found that 69 percent of the 2,000 people polled found dadbods sexy. Many even preferred them to a more muscular physique.
Fast forward a few months, and it appears women now have different physical preferences. In another attempt to finally crack the female mind, a study conducted by Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, found that an overwhelming majority of the women surveyed were most attracted to men who look strong, with muscular arms and toned torsos. The appearance of physical strength accounted for over 70 percent of men’s attractiveness.
It should be noted that only 160 women were surveyed, which is a tiny sample when you consider that there are 7.6 billion people in the world and roughly half of the are women.
Researchers wrote in a statement: “The results show that most male bodily attractiveness stems from cues of formidability and physical strength, and that strength increases attractiveness in a linear fashion. This effect of height and weight on attractiveness may be due to mate choice mechanisms responding to cues of health, or to the benefits that height and lean bodies have in protracted aggression, hunting and other aspects of fighting ability.”
Totally relatable—if we were living in the stone ages. The idea that a man's ability to hunt and fight makes him most appealing is ancient. The truth is that so many other factors are taken into consideration when choosing a partner, including personality, personal style, values, and common interests. Oh, and let’s not forget facial features. The women who participated in this study were only shown photographs of shirtless, faceless men, so the results were obviously restrictive.
In doing my own investigative research (thanks to Facebook), I found that when it comes to the opposite sex, women are much less concerned with physical appearance than this research leads us to believe. Muscles are sexy, sure, but you what else is? Sense of humor, compassion, drive.
“I don't really prefer either. A nice balanced body is ideal, but I'm not attracted to someone for their body as much as their personality and charisma,” said Kasey, 29, an executive assistant in NYC.